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The major causes of tropical deforestation (Rainforest ..

Tag: deforestation The Tropical Rainforest, ..

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The undergrowth in some areas of a rainforest can be restricted by ..

Looking at the importance of forests and trees in the previous pages, you can deduce the massive effects of deforestation and tree-cutting activities. Let us see a few below:

Soils (and the nutrients in them) are exposed to the sun’s heat. Soil moisture is dried up, nutrients evaporate and bacteria that help break down organic matter are affected. Eventually, rain washes down the soil surfaces and erosion takes place. Soils never get their full potential back.

When forests are destroyed, the atmosphere, water bodies and the water table are all affected. Trees absorb and retain water in their roots. A large part of the water that circulates in the ecosystem of rainforests remains inside the plants. Some of this moisture is transpired into the atmosphere. When this process is broken, the atmosphere and water bodies begin to dry out. The watershed potential is compromised and less water will run through the rivers. Smaller lakes and streams that take water from these larger water bodies dry up.

Many wonderful species of plants and animals have been lost, and many others remain endangered. More than 80% of the world's species remain in the Tropical Rainforest. It is estimated that about 50 to 100 species of animals are being lost each day as a result of destruction of their habitats, and that is a tragedy.

Many beautiful creatures, both plants and animals have vanished from the face of the earth.

Plants absorb Carbon Dioxide CO2 (a greenhouse gas) from the atmosphere and uses it to (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that make up trees). In return, it gives off Oxygen. Destroying the forests mean CO2 will remain in the atmosphere and in addition, destroyed vegetation will give off more CO2 stored in them as they decompose. This will alter the climate of that region. Cool climates may get a lot hotter and hot places may get a lot cooler.

The tropical rainforests of the Amazon Basin face the threat of deforestation

Deforestation and forest degradation can cause wildlife to decline. When forest cover is removed, wildlife is deprived of habitat and becomes more vulnerable to hunting. Considering that about 80% of the world's documented species can be found in tropical rainforests, deforestation poses a serious threat to the Earth’s biodiversity.

addition to the atmosphere through photosynthesis

Deforestation is happening at the fastest rate in tropical regions like the Amazon rainforest, ..

What Can I Do?

As an individual, many people feel that there is little they can do to stop a problem as big as tropical deforestation. This type of pessimist thinking needs to be stopped, replace pessimism with optimism and many solutions will arise!

Recycling paper can slow rates of annual deforestation. The largest component of solid waste by weight in the US is paper and paperboard (). Roughly 40% of municipal solid waste is paper; each year about 71.8 million tons are generated (). From an environmental or economic standpoint, it makes sense to recycle; not only can money be saved, but also trees. Valuable landfill space is prolonged; for every ton of recycled paper, three cubic yards of landfill are saved ().

Purchase items that carry the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) image (Figure 11). The FSC, founded in 1993, is an international, non-profit association, that issues certificates for well managed forests; economic, social, indigenous, and environmental interests are all taken into account. To be classified as a well managed forest, the forest's ecosystem can not damaged, only low volumes of trees are expelled, and impacts on plant and animal life are limited ().

Write letters protesting and objecting to corporations responsible for destroying rainforests. Let these corporations know you do not support the practices, methods, and projects with corporate involvement, that result in the destruction of rainforests and its ecosystems. Citigroup, North America's largest bank and Boise Cascade, one of North America's largest logging companies are responsible for deforestation, here in the US and abroad ().

Boise Cascade is logging wood from the world's rarest and most endangered forests to produce wood and paper products (). In Idaho, the Pacific Northwest, and central Canada, Boise Cascade is actively logging old growth forests; the corporation also sells products that originated from wood logged in the tropical rainforests of the Amazon, Southeast Asia, and British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest (). As one of the nation's largest and wealthiest forest product companies, with annual sales reaching over $7 billion, the corporation has the ability to manage their forests similar to those the FSC certifies (). Not only does Boise Cascade have the ability to sustainably manage their forests, but rather an obligation of sustainable management, so healthy forests and ecosystems can prosper forever!

Citigroup is the number one financier of large-scale projects in Latin America; here Citigroup arranged twenty-six projects in 1998, with an estimated value of $2 billion (). For example, Citigroup in association with Royal Dutch/Shell Group and the Scott Paper Company acquired the Sante Fe pulp mill, in Chile. Sante Fe removes trees from intact temperate rainforests, turning them into wood chips (). The temperate trees are replaced by fast growing eucalyptus, which are produced into paper and plywood for the foreign market (). While destroying the world's most biologically rich ecosystems, Citigroup is making billions of dollars at the expense of the world. Projects like this need to be stopped, before we know it the rainforests may disappear forever!

There are two letters already written, one for and the other for , protesting their destruction of the rainforests. The letters are complete, type your name and address, then sign and mail the letter. However, you may chose to edit the letter or add something personal. Simply change the letter your preference, print it and send. These are not the only corporations responsible for destroying tropical rainforests, unfortunately there are hundreds of others. Mail letters to them as well!

Supporting and donating to organizations that save rainforest acreage are other ways to help save the forests. The Tropical Rainforest Coalition is an example of one of these organizations. They have a donation program that uses your money to save acres of rainforest lands, called .

According to the , approximately 46 to 58 thousand square miles of forests are cleared across the globe every year — the equivalent of about 36 football fields per minute. Deforestation is happening at the fastest rate in tropical regions like the Amazon rainforest, but the process occurs all over the world, making it one of the greatest issues impacting global land use today.

Deforestation and photosynthesis by James Hileman …

The relationship between deforestation , photosynthesis, and

Secondary forests, because of their rapid growth rates, accumulate carbon more rapidly than primary forests. However, it is difficult to calculate this rate, because many factors are involved – the age distribution of trees in the forest, for one, is very significant (Nelson, et al., 2000). Another factor in this equation seems to be that intact tropical forest trees, at least, continue to accumulate carbon in wood for as much as a century after there has been a surge in productivity (growth). The rate of storage as wood depends, however, on the size of the tree – large-diameter trees (that is, older ones) store more carbon, relatively, than smaller ones. An interesting article by Percy, et al., (2002) demonstrates that, in temperate trees such as aspens, at least, higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide increase tree diameter (i.e., growth). High plant diversity, such as is characteristic of tropical rainforests, also encourages CO2 sequestration (see Biodiversity Part II), although this has so far been demonstrated only in temperate forests. Thus, the high usage of atmospheric carbon by forests may allow them to buffer climate change by regulation, but their ability to absorb CO2 is limited by a number of factors: the finite nature of plant growth; the rapid reduction of tropical forest land because of deforestation; the fact that most forests are now found in regions of lesser fertility, where their growth capacity (and therefore ability to sequester carbon) is problematic (Oren, 2001), and the fact that deleterious climate changes (such as El Niño) can depress forest growth. Schimel, et al., (2001) warn that ongoing climate change as well as the maturation of secondary forests will reduce sinks, and that the terrestrial sink may vanish.

Deforestation - Global Greenhouse Warming
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